Entering information in text fields should be smooth and fast, with no pauses or delays of any kind. Despite this, some background tasks if corrupt or otherwise malfunctioning may interfere with typing. One of the most common is OS X's spell checking behavior, but sometimes, the built-in options are not to blame.… Read more
This article initially misstated the price of using the TextFlow service within Box.net. It costs $9.95 a month, or $99 a year. Read the updated story here.
Here's a useful partnership: take a company that lets people compare and selectively combine multiple versions of a Microsoft Word document (TextFlow), and put it together with a company that hosts documents and has built-in communication tools (Box.net).
The partnership solves one big problem, and that's wrangling multiple versions of a file. Instead of the onus being on one editor to herd them together by e-mail, they can just have each user edit a single copy stored on Box. Those users can then save the file back as a version of the file, which an editor is able to compare--at up to seven versions at a time, from a TextFlow page within Box.
Another benefit of having Box handle the storage is that TextFlow can now save charts and images from within documents. Previously, these were stripped out in the TextFlow conversion. Users can even move them around within the document, just as if they were in Word.
This has one big effect on work flow, specifically the bit at the end, which is where TextFlow's system fell apart. Sure, it was great to speed up the edit process, but at the end, you were stuck adding these document elements back in from a previous copy.
According to Nordic River CEO Tomer Shalit, who spoke with CNET last week, this same kind of functionality, which includes the images and charts within documents, will eventually trickle down into TextFlow proper.
The only other road bump--and one Shalit anticipates will be fixed later on--is that Box's system does not allow users to select multiple files and compare them--only multiple versions of the same file. This is the exact opposite of how people use TextFlow on its own, which is where some confusion may initially crop up with long-term TextFlow users.
The new feature requires that users be paid Box business subscribers to use it, since it takes advantage of Box's file-versioning system, which is available only with the higher-end plans. It also requires being a paid user of TextFlow, which runs $9.95 a month, or $99 a year. To that end, this will be the first tool for Box users to compare different versions of the same file from within the service. Previously, users would have had to get local copies of each of these, then run them through TextFlow or CompareMyDocs.
Correction 10:26 a.m. PST: This article initially misstated the price of using the TextFlow service within Box.net. It costs $9.95 a month, or $99 a year.… Read more
ALSong is an innovative music player that lets users view lyrics to thousands of songs as they play. Although the program's design could be better, its unique features still make it worthwhile.
ALSong's interface is fairly intuitive (it's set up much as any media player is), but we didn't love that several of its features open in different modules. The media player opens in one window, the playlist in another, the lyrics viewer in yet another--things get cluttered pretty quickly. We were also irritated by the small text used throughout the program; anyone whose vision isn'… Read more
We spent quite a bit of time with MyLastSearch, and for the life of us, we just can't figure it out. We understand what it's supposed to do; the publisher's description clearly states that it "scans the cache and history files of your Web browser" and returns a list of previous queries made with search engines. Though it does perform this task--to some extent--we couldn't figure out why anyone would use this utility instead of searching within the browser itself.
The program's interface is plain and fairly intuitive by virtue of the fact … Read more
A new study suggests that laws banning talking on or sending text messages with cell phones while driving may not significantly decrease the risk of traffic accidents. Instead, experts suggest dealing with the problem of distracted drivers in general.
The Highway Loss Data Institute, a nonprofit organization funded by the auto insurance industry, compared monthly collision claims in four states that have banned handheld cell phone use before and after the bans took effect.
Research for the study, published Friday, was collected in New York, Washington, D.C., Connecticut, and California. Data was also collected and evaluated from nearby states … Read more
What's the only thing worse than paying that monthly AT&T bill? Paying an even higher AT&T bill, which happens when you blow through your allotted talk time and/or text messages.
That's why I'm a newfound fan of OverMyMinutes Alerter, a free app that alerts you via e-mail and/or SMS when you're getting close to your talk/text limits.
This week: charity in a connected world. The January 12 earthquake and humanitarian disaster in Haiti had an important technological component: Through the text message giving program, the Red Cross raised $26 million in funds in just nine days. That's not just a large amount of money to be raised in a short time, it's an unprecedented level of participation. Was this a one-time outpouring of goodwill, or the beginning of a trend in global humanitarianism made possible by technology?
To talk about this and related issues on the Roundtable, I'm joined by Caroline McCarthy from our New York office. Caroline has been covering the online giving program for CNET. And from the Red Cross itself, we have Jonathan Aiken, director of media relations. Before joining the Red Cross, Aiken was a Washington correspondent and an anchor for CNN.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) Reporters' Roundtable #17: Charity in a connected world… Read more
Alive Text to Speech is an easy-to-use program that lets users hear text on their computer spoken aloud, as well as convert text files into audio files. It's nothing fancy, but for users who want or need to hear text spoken aloud, Alive Text to Speech is a simple way to get that done.
The program's interface is quite basic, consisting mostly of a few buttons that represent the program's major features. Having the program speak text aloud is quite simple; users need only highlight the desired text and press Control-C. This can be done in any … Read more
Two notable software updates have been released today. Parallels has released a small update to their Parallels Desktop virtualization package, which patches up a number of small bugs associated with Windows guest operating systems. BareBones software has released an update to their free and popular TextWrangler program, which incorporates numerous enhancements both in the program and how the program utilizes system resources.… Read more